Vadim Sidur’s art smashed by Russian Orthodox activists at the Manege exhibition center (Moscow, Russia)
Russian Orthodox activists destroyed several works by Vadim Sidur, Soviet nonconformist sculptor at an exhibition in central Moscow denouncing the show as “blasphemous”. “Delusional people came to the exhibition who broke several works belonging to the Manege collection, by Vadim Sidur,” said a spokeswoman for the Manege exhibition centre next to the Kremlin walls, Yelena Karneyeva.
She stated that there were “several” attackers, and that “several sculptures are completely smashed.” The works were made of plaster and linoleum. She said that police had come and led away the activists.
Orthodox activist Dmitry Tsorionov, known by the nickname Dmitry Enteo, stated he was at the Manege exhibition centre. He said he was with police and that they were going to close down the exhibition. ”We called the police,” he claimed. “They will close the exhibition for offending believers,” he said.
According to footage from the scene the God’s Will activists, headed by Enteo, came into the exhibition and engaged in a vocal argument with the organizers. They demanded that the exhibition were closed to the public.
Enteo had earlier written a Tweet saying, “Right in the centre of Moscow there is terrible blasphemy, we are going there to liquidate it!” The message gave no more details.
Enteo is one of the most prominent conservative activists. He cites Orthodox values while picketing and heckling at arts events and protests, sometimes with a television camera crew in tow. This year he attempted to stop a gay pride rally in Moscow.
Police closed the exhibition to investigate and began questioning witnesses and activists.
The exhibition called “Sculptures that We Don’t See,” showed works by Soviet sculptors that did not see the light of day during the Soviet period because of their nonconformist nature. The exhibition, which opened to the public on Friday, August 14th, included some works with religious themes.
Sidur died in 1986. A museum in Moscow is now dedicated to his work and his art has been sold at international auction houses such as Sotheby’s. Friday’s attack on his works swiftly prompted condemnation.
“Now Orthodox warriors are smashing a sculpture exhibition in the centre of Moscow. Hail the Russian IS,” Vladimir Varfomoleyev, a journalist at popular Echo of Moscow radio station, wrote in a Tweet.
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